MDA launches new scheme to consult doctors live, prevent needless trips to ER

Magen David Adom emergency and rescue service says it launching a new initiative to connect non-urgent patients to doctors for consultations and prevent needless trips to the emergency room.

MDA says it will use video chats with doctors to guide paramedics’ decision-making process when they respond to calls at patients’ homes, thus potentially cutting by a third — or 200,000 cases — the number of people who eventually must be taken to hospital.

An ambulance carrying an Israeli man who returned from Italy and tested positive for coronavirus arrives at Tel Hashomer Hospital, February 27, 2020 (Flash 90)

“We’ve been planning a community medicine program for three years,” says MDA director general Eli Bin. “But the need for this type of initiative has become much more urgent in light of the current coronavirus crisis, where taking a patient to the hospital presents serious risks — especially when the patient might not be severely ill, but can still be highly contagious, potentially putting immunocompromised patients at the hospital in danger.”

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